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Re: Orthographic Sound Symbolism

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 9, 2002, 2:27
In a message dated 4/7/02 04.15.08 PM, DigitalScream@AOL.COM quotes and_yo &

><< Now, as anybody investigated the possibility that it >isn't the phones [i] and [a] that have these connotations, but the graphs >{i} and {a}? Most linguistis are used to the Latin alphabet, in which {i} >is >undeniably smaller than {a}, and my gut feeling is that my association >of >[i] to smallness is at least partly orthographically motivated, but has >anyone made a scientific study? >> > > Wouldn't the Japanese examples counter this, since Japanese doesn't >use Latin orthography?
Yep. The theory is that the very way the vowels are formed phonemically - the biomechanics of how the vowels are produced in the mouth have influenced the associative connotations (or at least the general tendency. As it has been pointed out, English has "big" and "small" which goes against this tendency... then again who said English was logical ;) English has a tendency of being perverse anyway ;) Hanuman Zhang {HANoomaan JAHng} /'hanuma~n dZahN/ ~§~ _LILA_ <from Sanskrit> = "Divine Play" - the 'joyous exercise of spontaneity involved in the art of creation' (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan)...the play of creation, destruction, & re-creation, the folding & unfolding of the cosmos... both the delight & enjoyment of this moment, & the play of [the] God[head] ("the universe is what happens when God wants to play"). _Spielraum_ <from German> = free scope to experiment with things & ideas; to toy with ideas; room to play in WHIM = 1a. a sudden fancy; a caprice. b. capriciousness. 2. a kind of windlass for raising ore or water from a mine. [17th century: origin unknown] WHIMSY (plural forms: WHIMSIES, WHIMSEYS) = 1. a whim; a capricious notion or fancy. 2. capricious or quaint humour. [related to WHIM-WHAM ]/Italian _capriccio_, French _boutade_ WHIM-WHAM = a toy or plaything